Madhav National Park

One of the oldest national parks in the country, Madhav National Park was established and recognised in the year 1958 in Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh. Situated on the northern fringe of the Central Highlands of India, it is a part of the upper Vindhyan hills, forming several plateaus, and punctuated by many small and big nallas. Spread over 350 sqkms, Madhav National Park is a wonderful combination of historical heritage and natural splendour. The closest town to the park is Shivpuri, which once used to be the summer capital as well as the favourite hunting preserve of the Maharaja of Gwalior. Infact, even before that, the Madhav forests were the hunting and gaming preserves of several of the Mughal emperors. Emperor Akbar is said to have captured most of the elephants for his army from this area. The place is thus brimming with architectural wonders tucked away in the fringes of the jungle.

Scindias who ruled Gwalior from the 18th to the mid - twentieth cuntury, had made Shivpuri the summer capital of the kingdom and it was from here that they hunting to the adjoining forests which are today a part of the park area.

Travel Tips

Be sure to plan at least a two-three day trip when going to Madhav National Park - there are a lot of local attractions that you would not want to miss. The park is open all around the year, however keep in mind the park timings - the park is open to visitors between 6:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. and again from 2:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. you are all geared up for an experience in the lap of nature like no other for the next 2 to 5 hours.

When boating in the Shakya Lake, make sure that you do not put your hand or throw food in the water. The lake is home to several dangerous predators and though such accidents are rare, they can happen. And while you are there, do take in all the romance and history of the place.

When to visit

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • July
  • Aug
  • Sept
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
sprinkles Cold
  • 24.7° Max
  • 9.1° Min
  • 4.2 mm
  • Carry Heavy woollen.
Things to do

Madhav National Park is teeming with all sorts of wild animals and is a delight for nature lovers. With its beautiful twin lakes, Lake SakhyaSagar and Lake MadhavSagar, it is a paradise for those who enjoy crocodiles which can be found in abundance in the depths of the lakes. In fact, the SakhyaSagar Lake is called ‘Crocodile Safari’ due to its abundance of crocodiles, and is an extremely popular tourist attraction.

Other animals of interest include tigers, pythons, marsh crocodiles, wild pigs, leopards, foxes, jackals, and a variety of deer. The lakes also provide shelter to a number of migratory fowl that make the forest its home for a few months, each year.  Having a varied terrain of wooden hills, dry, mixed deciduous forests, and flat grasslands around the lakes, the park offers abundant opportunities of sighting a variety of wildlife.

Within the forest, is the famous George Castle, built by the Jivaji Rao Scindia of Gwalior as a resting lodge for King George V on his visit to India. Even though the British visitor never stayed in the lodge, George Castle, standing tall at the highest point in the forest, is one of the most prominent tourist attractions in the park. 

On the shores of the Shakya Sagar is the Boat Club, also built by the Gwalior kings. It is a great spot for checking out local birds and animals in their natural form from this vantage point. Right above the lake is a box like structure, called the Shooting Box which was constructed for the Maharaja to shoot tigers. The point strikes out till today, as an emblem of the empire’s luxury.

The Gwalior kings also built picnic shelters, booths, benches, watch towers and boat docks at frequent suitable locations around the lake. You can take a motor ride in a boat, or enjoy a fun afternoon by the side of the lake. Other important tourist attractions include the ancient wall paintings at Churanchaj, and the two wonderful natural springs TundaBharka Spring and BhuraKho spring. The latter also has an adjoining Watch Tower, which serves as an added attraction where you can sit and spend hours sighting animals. You will never run out of things to do In Madhav National Park since there are innumerable other activities in the area conducted by the Sailing Club and the Golf Club.

The most easily seen animals are the herbivores. the park has a sizable population of chitals, sambars, chowsinghas and black-bucks. In this addition to this, small animals like jungle carts, monitor lizards and black napes can also be seen on the forest trails. Hanumana langurs or grey langurs jumping from one tree to another, or sitting along the road nibbling on fruit, are also a common sight.

Visitors can also spend some time in the sailing club at the SAkhya Sagar Lake to observe the resident crocodiles and exquisite aquatic birds or relax on the banks of the Madav sagar.

Getting Around

Once inside the park, always be on your toes because no matter the number of animals, they still are a bit shy when it comes to humans and safari jeeps. So, sneak a peek whenever you get a chance.

Places to Stay

Though many prefer to stay at Gwalior while visiting Madhav National Park, Shivpuri also has four to five accommodation options.

However in Shivpuri where the forest is.

How to Reach

  • The nearest airport is at Gwalior, 115 km away. Flights connect Gwalior to Delhi, Agra, Indore, Bhopal, Mumbai,Jaipur and Varanasi. Taxis and private cabs are available from Gwalior airport to reach the Park.
  • Shivpuri railway station is closest to the National Park and is connected by regular trains to Indore, Gwalior, Bhopal, Kota, Bhind, Dehradun andAmritsar. However, all trains do not stop at Shivpuri. Gwalior (115 km) and Jhansi (100 km), on the Delhi-Chennai route are the two major railheads.
  • The Park is well connected by road. The park entrance is on NH-25. State-run and private bus services connect the park to Jhansi, Gwalior, Bhopal and Indore.

Surrounding Attractions

If you are travelling to Madhav National Park, you are sure to stop over at Shivpuri, the nearest town to the Park. Shivpuri has a lot of spectacular locations - the Scindhia Chatris in Shivpuri is famous for its graceful, intricately embellished Marble chhatries(cenotaphs) erected by Scindia princess. Set in an elaborate Mughal Garden, are the cenotaphs, the royal Chhatries dedicated to Scindias. Facing each other across a water tank are the Chhatries of Madhav Rao Scindia and dowager queen Maharani Sakhya Raje Scindia, in a delighful fusion of Hindu and Islamic architectural styles. With their shikhara – type spires and Rajput and sprawling Mughal pavilions both the cenotaphs house life-size images of the Scindias. Ceremonially attired retainers, with flowers and incense sticks tend to both cenotaphs.

Another of the most famous eco tourism spots in the state is the Manikheda Dam. This is a hydel project built on the river Sindh which makes a natural boundary to the eastern part of the park. Due to the construction of the dam and water storage to the maximum level, a huge water body has come up on the boundary of the park. The combination of various kinds of flora and fauna alongwith the water bodies and the dam createa special scenic effect. The adjoining area is home toa number of beers and leopards. Transient tigers are also known to take shelter here, making this area site worth visiting. Son Chiraiya Ghar and Karera Bird Sanctuary are also worth a trip for those who cannot get enough of the wildlife.

If you are looking to take back some local artifacts and souvenirs hit the nearby Subhash market and Theiya bazaar, and while you are there be sure to lap up some local delicacies.

Emergency No.

State Police of Madhya Pradesh – 100
Police Station Gwalior - (0751) 2322100
Ambulance – 102, 108

Chief Conservator of Forests and Director

Madhav National Park Shivpuri # 09424794805, 09424794806 (Asstt. Director)

South Range Office - 07492-220347 and Cell: 09424794812